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What the Federal Budget means for you


The Albanese Government delivered its first full budget last night, and while the government has delivered the first budget surplus in 15 years, it has also missed an opportunity to tackle serious reform.

As I told media, I believe the government’s changes to the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) are too weak. The timid changes will net the budget only $2.4 billion over the next four years, meaning Australians will not receive a fair share of tax for the offshore gas resources which we all own. The budget is also overly reliant on personal income tax, and the government must address this if we are to fund the policies and programs that can make Australia a fair and prosperous society.

After analysing all the budget papers, this newsletter will summarise what the budget means for you and what the ‘hits’ and ‘misses’ are. Remember, if you have any questions about the Budget, or would like to raise a particular issue with me and my team, you can email me at [email protected].


What does the Budget mean for…

Climate change and renewable energy



$2 billion to kickstart the hydrogen industry

Redesign of the PRRT means Australians don’t get a fair share of tax from gas exports

$1.3 billion for home energy efficiency upgrades

Renewables investment not enough to match incentives in the US and EU

$83 million for a New Net Zero Authority to help communities transition away from fossil fuel industry


$28 million for a National Climate Risk Assessment and a National Adaptation Plan



The budget was a missed opportunity to supercharge our ability to become a renewable energy superpower. The $2 billion investment in Australia’s hydrogen energy industry is welcome, as are the modest investments to help electrify small businesses and social housing. However the government’s investment in green energy is a drop in the ocean when compared to the nearly $750 billion in new spending and tax breaks under the US Inflation Reduction Act. The current level of investment in industry incentives and subsidies here in Australia may not be enough to stop some of our emerging businesses and industries heading offshore.”


Cost of living



$500 subsidy on energy bills for 5.5 million households

$40 per fortnight increase to Jobseeker payments will not be enough to lift people out of poverty

15% increase in rental assistance for low-income earners

No new incentives to increase the uptake of EVs

Expanded access to medicines – ability to purchase 60 day scripts

No pause on the indexation of HECS and HELP debts

Extra $9 billion in funding for cheaper childcare


$1.3 billion for home energy efficiency upgrades



“The government has had to walk a fine line in delivering immediate cost of living relief and ensuring this does not further fuel inflation. I believe the government has come close to achieving this, and the $500 subsidies on energy bills will be welcomed by households around the country. The policies to make childcare and medicines cheaper are also good moves. However the decision to increase jobseeker payments by just $40 a fortnight, or $2.86 a day, will not be enough to lift some of our most vulnerable out of poverty.”


Small Business



$650 subsidy on energy bills for 1 million small businesses

No new measures to counter staffing shortages in industries such as hospitality

$20,000 instant asset write off for small businesses

Lack of transparency around how government will support community pharmacies to maintain their level of services

 $314 million energy efficiency grants for small businesses


$310 million in tax breaks to help small businesses electrify


$392.4 million fund to help small and medium enterprises commercialise new ideas and expand operations


$23.4 million small business cybersecurity program



“This is a good budget for small businesses who have been doing it tough. There are new grants and tax breaks to help small businesses invest in electrifying heating and cooling systems, installing batteries, and upgrading to high-efficiency electrical goods. This will help small businesses counter the rising cost of doing business. While the $20,000 instant asset write off scheme will help businesses with a turnover of under $10 million to invest in new equipment and assets.”


Health and mental health



$3.5 billion to triple bulk-billing incentives for GPs for children and pensioners

Only $556.2 million over five years in mental health funding

$358.5 million for more urgent care clinics

Only $53.4 million over five years for preventative health measures

$91 million to establish the Australian Centre for Disease Control

The National Obesity Strategy remains unfunded

$824 million investment in digital health

No increase in the Medicare rebate

$445.1 million to hire more nurses and allied health professionals in primary care


Expanded access to medicines – ability to purchase 60 day scripts


Crackdown on vaping and increase in tobacco excise



“The government has unveiled a record $5.7 billion investment in healthcare. I commend the Minister for Health for listening to the sector and implementing measures that will mean 11.6 million Australians are less likely to face out of pocket expenses to see their GP. The tripling of bulk-billing incentives means children under 16, pensioners and those with Commonwealth cards may no longer face out of pocket expenses. I also welcome the funding to establish an Australian Centre for Disease Control which will significantly improve our capacity to manage national public health issues into the future. However the government has only provided $53.4 million in funding for preventative health measures and has not funded the National Obesity Strategy. With the health system stretched to its limits this is a serious missed opportunity. Mental health is also severely underfunded. $556.2 million over five years isn’t enough to tackle our nation’s mental health crisis.”


The Environment



$1 billion in extra funding for biosecurity

Only $355.1 million in funding for National Parks

$121 million for the establishment of Environment Protection Australia (EPA)

Only $341.2 million over five years to protect nature and threatened species


The lack of investment in our environment is a glaring omission. While there is money to create the legislative framework of the EPA to protect our environment in the future, there is little money to actually protect Australia’s threatened species and flora right now. It has been estimated that we need to invest over $1.5 billion per year to reverse Australia’s extinction crisis, so $341.2 million over five years is nowhere enough to halt the decline of our precious national wildlife.”


Aged care



15% payrise for aged care workers over the next two years

Cutting the Covid-19 response for the aged care sector from 2024-25

$166.8 million for 9,500 additional home care packages to help older Australians live safely in their own homes

Only $338.7 million over four years for the in-home aged care system – we need to invest more to help older Australians age safely in their own homes

$112 million to encourage GPs to attend aged care sectors



“Our aged care system is in crisis, and aged care workers have been undervalued and underpaid for too long. So the government’s commitment to fund the 15% pay rise for aged care workers is immensely welcome. The increase in finding for an additional 9,500 home care packages for older Australians is desperately needed. However the government must do more to help fund in-home aged care into the future. We know more Australians would prefer to live in their own homes as they age, so the government must start to invest in the services that can help Australians live safe, healthy, and independent lives in their own homes as they age.”





$589.3 million investment to prevent violence against women and enhance women’s safety

No commitment to pay super on paid parental leave

Increased access to single parenting payment to parents with children up to the age of 14


Commitment to publish the gender pay gaps of employers with 100 or more workers from 2024


15% payrise for aged care workers over the next two years



“The government should be commended for its investment in women’s safety. The $589.3 million in this budget comes on top of the $1.7 billion committed in October last year for The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032. The government’s 15% pay rise for aged care workers will also help this female dominated workforce. However there is still a lack of action on closing the super gap and paying superannuation on paid parental leave, this should be urgently addressed.”





Additional funding for the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to deliver its audit program – $14.4 million over four years and $3.9m ongoing

No funding to implement my ‘Ending Jobs for Mates’ Bill - $3 million per year is all that is needed to establish an independent appointments process

$48.3 million for a fraud detection squad within the NDIS



“The new National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will be up and running from 1 July and will mark a turning point in the battle to restore integrity and transparency to federal politics. In addition to the NACC, which was funded in the October budget to the tune of $270 million, the additional funding for the ANAO will help strengthen Australia’s integrity infrastructure. I will also continue my call for the government to back my ‘Ending Jobs for Mates Bill’ as for just $3 million per year, the government could help end the jobs for mates culture in federal politics.”


Indigenous Australians



$1.9 billion over five years to ‘Close the Gap’


$150.5 million to strengthen educational outcomes and protect traditional knowledge


Almost $200m to tackle violence against Indigenous women


$141 million for an Indigenous Smoking Program



“The budget includes significant investment in Indigenous Australians and the $1.9 billion in Closing the Gap funding is substantial and incredibly welcome. The programs aimed at reducing violence against Indigenous women and to tackle smoking and vaping rates in Indigenous communities are also welcome.”


Young people



$40 per fortnight increase to Austudy and Youth allowance payments

No pause in the indexation rate increases of student HECS/ HELP debts

$127.3 million over four years for an additional 4,000 Commonwealth-supported places at universities

Future generations facing a national debt of over $1 trillion by 2025-26

300,000 TAFE, vocational education, and training fee-free places

Only $556.2 million over five years in mental health funding


Jobseeker increase less than people aged 55 and over


“This is a budget that gives to young people on one hand and takes away with the other. The additional 300,000 fee-free TAFE, vocational education and training places is a great way to help young people get the skills they need to start their careers. However those with HECS and HELP debts will see an increase in their debts as there has been no pause in these being indexed to the current high inflation rates. The fact that young people on Jobseeker do not get the same increase as older jobseekers feels unfair. The lack of tax reform also means young people will face paying back a national debt of over $1 trillion after 2025-26.”


Older Australians



Expanded access to medicines – ability to purchase 60 day scripts

Only $338.7 million over four years for the in-home aged care system – we need to invest more to help older Australians age safely in their own homes

A tripling of bulk-billing incentives to help reduce out of pocket expenses for pensioners when seeing a GP


$90 per fortnight increase to the Jobseeker payment for the long term unemployed aged 55+



“The move to allow patients to purchase 60-day scripts will mean patients save up to $180 a year while the tripling of the bulk-billing incentives for GPs will also mean many older Australians will no longer face out of pocket expenses when they see their GP. With more older Australians wishing to remain in their own home as they age, it’s hugely important the government steps up investment in the in-home aged care system.”


Other hits

$286 million to fund the National Cultural Policy

$58 million for the establishment of a national anti-scam centre

Additional funding for future expected claims for veterans' compensation and support payments